Noise Sentinel was originally developed for long-term or permanent monitoring of noise compliance but with some small adjustments it has proven to be an extremely effective way of managing the noise from shale gas drilling activities. Using portable, hand carry noise monitoring instrumentation addresses the need for frequent relocation. Rather than equipment being installed on permanent monitoring masts, it is provided in a portable form for deployment by the drilling contractor or other parties on their behalf. Deployment involves mounting a microphone on a tripod and connecting it to the monitoring unit and takes less than 10 minutes. The unit is calibrated on site ensuring measurements are accurate. Data is measured and transmitted in real-time to the Noise Sentinel servers where it is processed according to the required legislation. In this way, understanding which levels are permissible is done automatically by Noise Sentinel leaving the contractor to focus on his drilling task.
Should levels approach compliance limits then the contractor is warned before a breach occurs, enabling them to change operations to bring the drilling back into noise compliance.
All this data is recorded and available in periodic reports that can be submitted daily or weekly to the city regulators. Reports can be compared to the ambient noise level survey.
Furthermore, a dedicated website called the Noise Sentinel stakeholder web is available and shows the current noise levels updated live to authorised users in the community or city. They can also look back over previous days and listen to any significant noise to determine its cause. This approach is an effective way to build trust with communities and regulators.